Who Are the Gods? | New Installment of Teaching | Parent Stars | Root-Races | Races, Principles | |Buddhas | Planets | Gateways of Death | Brahmarandhra | Judge Not | Moment of Choice | The Buddha and Nirvana
G. de P. — Now we come to the matter of the gods. Who are the gods? We use this catchword as a substitute for many different words employed by HPB. She sometimes calls them Breaths, other times cosmic spirits; other times dhyani-chohans, a word which will take in all the range of dhyani-chohans, not merely the three dhyani-chohanic kingdoms above the human kingdom, reckoned as three because they belong to our chain, but I mean all those other still higher dhyani-chohanic hierarchies outside of these three belonging to our own chain and higher than man. They are in fact the evolved or fully developed monads from previous cosmic manvantaras, in whose jiva or jivas, in whose life, we live and move and have our being; just as the entities, the monads of the cells of my body or of yours, for the time being live in me, and in me they move and live and have their being. I am to them a god.
The demigods, so far as we of this chain are concerned, are the intermediate one of the three dhyan-chohanic kingdoms just above us. The dhyan-chohanic kingdom just above us, the third or lowest of the dhyan-chohanic kingdoms of this chain, is the next step upward above humanity. The mahatmas are just entering it. The higher mahatmas belong to this lowest of the dhyan-chohanic kingdoms; the demigods are the intermediate of these three kingdoms; the fully evolved or cosmic buddhas are the highest of the three kingdoms above us on our chain. Then of course as stated there are the cosmic spirits or the dhyan-chohans of the general solar system. The solar logoi are highly evolved dhyan-chohans. But there are also dhyan-chohans or Ah-hi or Breaths or cosmic spirits of galactic magnitude, still higher ranges.
So therefore when we say gods, it is a general term implying all these ranges of cosmic spirits above man, beginning with the lowest of the three dhyan-chohanic kingdoms on our own globe, or chain rather, and ascending upwards through the solar system into the galaxy and even beyond; only those beyond I always speak of as super-gods, super-divine.
Thus the demigods are the intermediate dhyan-chohans of our own chain just above man. The Masters and greatest mahatmas are the lowest of these three dhyan-chohanic kingdoms just above man. The highest of these three dhyan-chohanic kingdoms just above man, in other words those belonging to our own chain, are the fully evolved buddhas of our chain, but these must not be confused with the manushya buddhas or human buddhas.
We have lost the feeling that the gods are always with us, that we walk in their presence. We have lost that. But do not confuse that loss, which is a loss of a very beautiful and holy feeling of the presence of divinities around us — do not confuse that with what is implied with the phrase, personal God. This last has one restricted meaning only. A god like that of the Jews, or of the Christians, or of some other sects even in the Orient, who make a divinity in the pattern or image of an imperfect man — "God waxed wroth" and "smelled the sweet savor of the burnt sacrifices;" "the anger of God swelled;" "God spoke unto Moses," and said things like these!!! — all that is wrong, irreligious, and leads away from the grand simple truths of nature.
Nothing is so holy to us human beings as to feel the divine presences around us and with us, helping us and guiding us. I think every theosophist should pray in his heart — not the open prayer, although it is not the words, it is the attitude; not a piacular or petitionary prayer, whether spoken or unspoken; but the prayer of the theosophist — "O god within me, thy child, make me to feel thy presence with me always. Let me be conscious that thou art with me and guiding me. Not my will, but thine always be done." Do you see, prayers of that kind, a prayer of reverence, the raising of the human heart not only in aspiration towards what is above itself, but in the true sense of the word worthship, worship, feeling the presence not only of cosmic divinity, but of the divinities around us, feeling the companionship of the gods around us and in our own soul — this kind of prayer, this feeling in the heart, and the raising of the heart out of the little petty personality upwards to the divinity within, and recognizing the other divinities around us and even in our fellow human beings — is true reverence and prayer.
When I was a child there were many reasons why I used to feel unhappy and bound in, and I would go out into the garden and lay my ear against a tree, and then in a little while I could feel the pulsing, actually sense it, not physically as a touch, but inwardly sense the pulsing of the dryad, to use a Greek term, in that tree. I would go and lie down by a little brook that used to run through my father's property and look at the water and commune with the naiads. I sensed the spirits of nature around, and I came to see that some of them were exquisitely beautiful, and others less evolved were awful — the undeveloped nature spirits, what the Tibetans call lhamayin as contrasted with the lhas. The medieval Fire-Philosophers who called themselves Rosicrucians at one time — I do not mean the modern Rosicrucians — used to refer to these as the inhabitants of the elements of nature. They are the same as the old nature spirits of the ancients, and their spiritual sources were the same as the gods of the ancients, the devas of the Hindus, or the dhyani-chohans of the Tibetans. And as I grew older I began to recognize that the nature spirits of my boyhood were not the highest, as my boyish growing mind once thought they were. I used to go out and commune with nature, especially at night — and oh, the revelations I used to get sometimes as I sat in the garden alone, or lay on the grass, or walked, strolled around and looked up at the stars; the sense of infinite oneness of everything, and that I was a part of it, infinitesimal and yet coequal with cosmic immensity. You remember how familiar that thought is in the Brahmanic teaching of the Vedanta, that Brahman is smaller than the smallest, greater than the most great, and is both. Even to this day, although I am so occupied now with many exoteric things that my brain has scarcely any time to turn to these things that I love, even now there are moments when I can retire into myself and commune with the gods. It is the most wonderful experience a man can have. It is worth one's self-dedication, and it keeps one balanced and sane in a world temporarily crazy.
Why is it that the floodgates, of what is to the modern world new esoteric information, are open? Why were they first opened by HPB, and why has the flood of teaching of occult information continued up to the present time? It is the esoteric rule; and so rigidly was this rule held that in ancient times infringement or breaking of this rule was punished either by severe discipline, or even in degenerate times by death. Originally the death was occult death: deprivation of teaching, and deprivation of association with the teacher. That law finally became construed among the ancients closest to our time as calling for death of the body, which was a typical Atlantean perversion of true occult teaching and was a crime. At any rate, it showed how strongly and earnestly the ancients of all time held to the rule of occult silence.
With the downfall of the Roman Empire in the west, a new cosmic cycle began, affecting the earth also. The restriction of civilization to separate parts of the earth came to an end. There followed the Dark Ages as the preparation, the embryonic time, for a new birth. The discovery of the new worlds, the immense increase in scientific knowledge, the gradual and increasing collapse of exoteric religious feeling, the wanderings of philosophers searching for truth: all were symptoms or phenomena of the opening of a new age. We can call it, if we like, the beginning of a Messianic cycle, which is practically equivalent to one-twelfth of the precessional cycle, some 2160 years. This called for very strenuous action on the part of the Guardians of the ancient wisdom to give new light to mankind, to guide it through the opening of the new age until the new psychology became established and was able to take care of itself. New keys were needed in order that old truths, cosmic truths, should once more be taught as guides to mankind. The old had passed away, because it had lost its grip on men's hearts and minds, because it had become sterile, crystallized. The opening of a new age is always a dangerous time for mankind, and the same may be applied whether the new age be on the small scale of a single nation as in the ancient days, or on a mundane scale as has been the case since the downfall of the Roman Empire.
I will not now go into the question of just what cycle is opening and what is closing. That would take us far afield, fascinating though indeed it is. Let us take it for granted that the fact is as stated. This accounts for the opening of the floodgates. A new or rather an old teaching was to be presented anew, in new cloaks, new garments, fitted to the understanding of the minds of mankind, of men entering this new age. You see then, how it came about that the ancient rule of secrecy was in no wise abandoned; but a new installment of the wisdom, which is the heritage of men was given because men needed it. Old knowledge had been forgotten. A new installment of the same knowledge in new guises, new cloaks, new presentations, understandable by the psychology of the modern mind, was required. It began and has continued. One of these days the gates will close. The installment then will have been given. And for the time being the keynotes for the new age will be sufficient to ring down the succeeding cycles, until in the course of human history a new installment for a then new age will again be called for.
One idea expressed here tonight is erroneous, to wit that there is one star of which we are all children. This last thought is correct only when we limit ourselves to a solar system, ours as an instance. But the reference in the Instruction which is the same as the reference in The Secret Doctrine points to a different line of thought. The meaning is this: so many stars in heaven or in the celestial vault, so many men on earth. Not one star being the parent of all the men on earth, but that every human being on our earth has his spiritual parent, otherwise his spiritual or rather divine self, in someone or other of the uncounted hosts of stars around us and scattered through the galaxy. This does not mean that throughout infinity I or you, for instance, may be or are the only offspring, I of my star, you of yours. Every star emanates a myriad hierarchical host of children, offspring. These offspring are scattered through the galaxy, and may be or may not be imbodied on planets in our own or in other solar systems; so that my star, my spiritual parent, and also my divine self, the flame from which I am emanated as a wandering pilgrim-spark, has other pilgrim-sparks as other rays from that star of mine scattered over the galaxy.
However, in any one solar system, the sun of that solar system, for various reasons is the parent by transmission, like a human parent, of all the monads in his kingdom. A sun is a star. A star is a sun. Our sun in our solar system is our parent because we came through the sun to take imbodiment on Earth, on Jupiter, Venus, Mars, or any other one of the planets. Yet through all our peregrinations, as hosts of wandering pilgrim-monads, each one such monad nevertheless has someone particular star as his own parent or highest self. Yet that one particular star is the parent of a myriad host of other beings besides man here on earth, higher or lower than or similar to me, to you, imbodied or non-imbodied elsewhere on different solar systems in the galaxy — with perhaps other souls from that same star imbodied here on earth or elsewhere on other earths in other solar systems through the galaxy.
A star, any star, anywhere in the galaxy, emanates or scatters its seeds of life, its children, emanating or flowing forth from itself, throws them with lavish hand over the galactic fields of life. Some fall in one solar system drawn together by karmic affinity, a closer affinity than others who group themselves by karmic affinity in some other system; yet all originally emanate from one star, and therefore all claim that one star as their parent and highest parent-self.
Now all stars are doing this, so that on earth we human beings can claim, I my star, you your star. Perhaps it is the same as my star. Much more likely it is some other star. Yet all these pass through, in any solar system, one star which is the king or sun in his own solar kingdom during the circulations of the cosmos, and which the rivers of lives follow when taking imbodiment or throwing off imbodiment.
Nature being ruled throughout analogically, there being one fundamental law and process throughout all the galaxy, even men copy their father in heaven, their parent-star, for we too in our own small way copy what our star-parent did in producing us. We produce life-atoms, thoughts, elementals, elementary lives; and these unconsciously look up to us as their parent. Some of these entities we produce like physical or human parents do their children. They merely pass through us. But others of these life-atoms or monads, baby monads if you wish on this cosmic plane, really are produced from our own spiritual essence. Therefore they are parts of us, "chips off the old block."
This question, I confess, I have sidestepped in the past to a certain degree because it is so difficult of explanation. It is like time periods. If you have not had a certain number of years of study, honest-to-goodness meditation and thoughtful thinking about these things, a student will simply not get the idea at all. He is almost certain to go wrong, and I don't want to mislead people, and yet I am asked questions. That makes it my duty to give some kind of an answer. HPB was in exactly the same situation. I can just see her in my mind's eye swearing, knowing she must say something, it must be true, it must not mislead, and she is haunted by the constant fear that almost certainly whatever she says will mislead because the minds of untaught students have not been trained to take in the technical things. Therefore I will say this:
Every root-race in its middle point begins to sow the seeds of the next succeeding root-race in its fourth main subrace. But these are the seeds. Can you say the race then began? In one sense you can, because the seeds are sown. The egos are there and begin to aggregate by sympathy, by instinct. After a while they even begin to reincarnate in certain places together, drawn together. Yet each — understand this if you can, I dare not say any more — and yet each root-race, although it sows its seeds of the next root-race in its own main fourth subrace, which is its middle point, yet I repeat that next or succeeding root-race actually does not begin to appear as a race sui generis until about the fourth subrace of the same number as the number of the race which follows it. Do you understand that? For instance, we in our fifth root-race will sow the seeds of the sixth root-race, and are doing it now because we are in the fourth main subrace, I mean the great big subrace of our root-race. Yet the succeeding sixth root-race will not actually be a race sui generis until we, the fifth root-race, have reached our sixth subrace. Then the seeds sown at its middle point, our middle point, will begin to show stem and blade; no longer seeds, they will begin to be plants, and from that moment the succeeding root-race will begin to appear and aggregate rapidly.
Thus during the fourth root-race the seeds of the fifth root-race were sown during the fourth great subrace. But those seeds did not actually collect together and begin to be the beginnings of a race sui generis until the fourth sub-subrace of the fifth subrace of the fourth root-race.
Take the sixth root-race: it will begin to sow the seeds of the seventh and last root-race on this globe during this round during the fourth subrace of the sixth root-race. The seeds will then begin to appear of the seventh root-race, but that seventh root-race will not actually be collected together as the beginnings of a race sui generis, the seventh root-race, until the sixth root-race has reached its seventh main subrace, the last subrace of the sixth.
So there you have the paradox solved if you can understand it. I am not sure that I myself understand all details. I know how the rule works, but sometimes I myself grow simply entangled in the wheels within wheels which have to be kept so clearly separate in the mind, if even the thinker himself is to retain a clear picture. I hope I have succeeded. It is something to think about. I know what I have told you is correct, but I am not sure that I myself have been enabled to give to the words I have just uttered the fire of understanding which I want to put into them so as to touch the flaming point of intuition in your minds.
We are seeds of the next root-race, and in The Secret Doctrine HPB says in one page which has been quoted a hundred times by different people, and always quoted with the wrong understanding of it, that in America are already beginning to appear the seeds of the next race. I do not remember at the moment whether she says subrace or race, I think she just says race. And that is obvious, because that is what I have just stated, because we of the fifth are about the middle point of our own main fourth subrace, the producing time for seeds, the generating race of that time so far as the next root-race is concerned. The seeds are sown. Then they lie in the womb of the succeeding subrace or subraces until the time comes for them to grow luxuriantly in the proper subrace, which time will thus be the proper bearing or birth of the new or succeeding root-race to come. The child then is born.
Do not forget this: if we say that the fourth root-race, for example, was between eight or nine million years long, that is to say what can be called the fourth root-race lived that time from its beginning to its end, do not forget that it is a race sui generis and alone for only about half that time, say four or five million years, at which time it sows the seeds of the next race to come. Those seeds and the mother-race, the fourth race in the example we have chosen, live side by side until the fourth race dies out and the succeeding or fifth race occupies the place that its parents had, or assumes its position as the heirs of the earth. This is one of the reasons why root-races have sometimes been said to have a time period of four or four and one-half million years, and at other times of eight or nine million years. The former is counting the beginning of the race when it first became a race sui generis up to the time when the new root-race first put in an appearance. The latter, between eight and nine million years, refers to the mother-race from its first appearance to its dying out.
So the races overlap. From the fourth subrace of any root-race the next root-race begins as seeds, then the two races begin to overlap, and the overlapping continues until the mother-race decays and dies out. The new race becomes the heirs of the earth in its turn, and will be a race sui generis and dominant, reaching its heyday of material perfection, civilization, and progress during its great fourth subrace. Then it will begin to produce the seed of the next root-race to come, which in its turn will pass from the seed state to the plant state to the full grown.
Just follow the law of analogy: what happens as amongst the different planetary chains, in a smaller magnitude or in a smaller degree happens on every globe of a planetary chain, and in and on and during every race of a globe of a planetary chain.
There is a difference, in fact there are striking differences, between the downward arcs and the ascending arcs, and these differences must be carefully watched and taken into account. Nevertheless, the same fundamental general rule applies regarding the seeding and the flowering of the races, whether on the descending, whether on the ascending, arcs. Thus, races one, two, and the last part of the third, were astral or semi-astral. Race the first was distinctly astral without any physical body. Race the second was astral, but coarsening into the ethereal-physical. The beginning of race the third carried on that process, but the end of race the third was physical, the race then being divided into sharply distinct individuals, because of the advent or incarnation of the manasaputras sharply dividing the individuals thereafter, and "thereafter" meaning all subsequent root-races to the seventh, and for the rest of the rounds of the chain.
Race the first on this round on this earth being astral knew no death, as we understand death. It however knew a time of limits. If it had not, it had been immortal and undying, and there would have been but one race through all the rounds on all the globes. Race first did not die. It melted into or became race the second. As the beautiful old archaic phrase has it, the old waters became the new waters; the old mixed with the new. Notice the choice of words here. It shows that it was one stream, the first becoming the second, and yet they mixed; which shows that the second, however much it was alike unto the first, nevertheless because of distinctions, was something other than the first. Do you catch the thought?
Race the second did not know death in its first parts. Towards its end its individuals, not yet manasized or manasaputrized, fell asleep as it were and faded out. It was the beginnings of what we now know as death of individuals. Race the third began to know death even in its beginning, because the harbingers of the manasaputras were already entering doing their magnificent work; but because this magnificent work so strongly individualized units, death entered. Strange paradox. Thus the first race melted into the second race, and the melting began about the middle point of the first. Remember that. It is most interesting. Race the second slipped along or evolved along its own pathways until it passed away, after having given birth by budding and similar things to race the third, which began to be hermaphroditic or androgynous. In other words, separation was already beginning to show itself; and towards the end of the third race, men and women as we now know them, sharply contrasted individuals of opposite polarities, were the norm or the rule. Transfer by analogical reasoning these processes to the preceding rounds, and you will have a clear picture of what rounds one, two, and three were, at least an outline clearer in defined details perhaps than you have had before.
Now in the succeeding rounds, mind will be manifested in all globes, and in all races on all globes, whether on the descending, whether on the ascending, arc, because we have passed the midpoint of the entire manvantara of this globe's imbodiment. And the next round is the fifth, the manasic round, which means that manasic qualities, mind, will characterize that round throughout as its svabhava.
Going back in time: there was mind even in root-races one, two, and three, on our present globe during this fourth round, mind as it were diffuse, mind not individualized; yet the highest individuals in each of these three races were already manasaputrized, or perhaps better stated bringing manasaputric intelligence over from the previous manvantara, and therefore leading the "mindless" of the present manvantara. These were the demigods that history and mythology amongst all peoples of the world refer to.
With reference to diffuse mind, even a little child, not yet manasaputrized by its own incarnating ego, even after its birth has what we might call diffuse mind. We often speak of it as instinct, intuition almost. Do you follow my reasoning? As we often say rather poorly, nature seems to care for the child to a certain extent. It has not self-controlled, self-directed, intellectual activity as the adult has learned to have, or has trained himself to have by taking thought unto things. But the child's mind is diffuse intellectually. Nature gives it mind, as it were; but as the months pass and the years pass, the child's ego, its manasaputra, begins to imbody and to stimulate and enlighten the diffuse mind, if you follow me; just as the manasaputras brought mind, or enlightened mind, or stimulated the vegetative or diffuse minds, of the 3rd race entities. The same process takes place in the small with every child that is born as it grows from diffuse to intellectualized self-willed mind of the boy and of the adult.
Just let me point out that if you count two racial or manushya buddhas to a root-race, the first four would make eight, and as we have had one buddha in the fifth root-race, Buddha Gautama would be the ninth. Now how do you explain this?
Well, I have given you one key to it in the statement that Gautama the Buddha is the seventh. One of the companions got the proper answer really, in gist at least, in stating that there are buddhas opening rounds as well as buddhas opening races. Thus if you calculate that we are in the fourth round, the seventh buddha will be the first buddha of every root-race — or his tulku or representative, to use a Tibetan term, will be such — therefore Gautama the Buddha is the seventh in that sense of the word. I don't know whether you follow me.
There is a buddha at the beginning of a round and one at the end. They are sometimes called the manus. But we can temporarily put out of our consciousness the round-buddhas, and consider only the racial buddhas as individuals apart from their imbodying the round-buddha influence.
Every race has its two buddhas. Now the first race had its two buddhas, or what, considering the very peculiar circumstances then prevailing, could be classified as an opening buddha and a closing buddha. The mere fact that from the evolutionary standpoint the human stock at that time was not yet self-conscious, in our sense of the word, does not alter the fact that the first race opened with its divine instructor or buddha and closed with one. You see that, don't you?
It takes all the planets and the sun and all the moons with their astral influences to form the karmic molds of any one planet. In other words, all things cooperate to produce any one entity. Thus a man is the product, not only of his own driving spiritual ego, the motor behind his entire series of reimbodiments, but he is in very truth the offspring, the child, of universal nature. And now I will try to explain one of the most carefully guarded of the mysteries. I have felt oftentimes I should say something, and yet I have been always hesitant. I have felt that I was walking as it were on a razor's edge.
You remember the Master KH in The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett speaks of what he calls a continent above our heads as he expresses it — simple, graphic language said to spiritual children in an attempt to give them a hint, which alas, they did not take or understand. HPB in her own letters to A. P. Sinnett speaks of Saturn and his rings, and uses a very open statement (really anyone who runs can read it) that Saturn is the only half-frank planet of our solar system. Look at this open door: the only half-frank planet. We may deduce immediately that it is the only planet of our solar system which on this plane, let us call it the plane of visibility to our eyes, shows a portion of the meteoric continent, as the Master describes it rather oddly, surrounding Saturn. I will go this far. Every planet in the solar system is surrounded with such a meteoric continent or shell or container. The word continent here is most graphic. It does not mean a landmass as the word is used in human geography. It is a noun used in the distinct Latin sense, to contain, to hold, to inclose — hence the meteoric continent the Master speaks of is the containing meteoric shell surrounding the earth, especially thick in the region of its equator. Saturn shows us this equatorial meteoric continental thickening, and we call it Saturn's rings. Now have you got something from that!
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Venus had its moon, but the Venus moon disintegrated aeons agone into cosmic dust. I think if astronomers imagine that they catch glimpses of a moon in the neighborhood of Venus, as I have heard it suggested by one of the members of this group, it may be due to some other cause, and I prefer not even to speculate here what that cause may be. I can give you a hint. It was after the fourth round of Venus that the moon of Venus disappeared. Our real moon will disappear in the sixth or seventh round, but the Venus moon disappeared after its fourth round.
Astronomy calls any attendant celestial body orbiting around another planet a moon. Theosophists restrict the word moon solely to the lunar parent of any planet in our solar system; and other attendants around the planet we call satellites. Call them captures, if you will. Jupiter, for instance, has one moon, and a number of satellites or captures, as have several of the other planets. So for the time being may we not say that this body seen by certain astronomers, even as far back as about the middle of and towards the end of the 18th century, is a satellite, and not the true moon of Venus? I may be wrong, but I do not think it was an asteroid, I believe it was a satellite or capture.
There are invisible planets in the solar system which of course had lunar parents, moon parents, but whose moons had disintegrated before the reimbodiment of their life principles as the child of themselves, the new invisible body. But those planets which are sunken more grossly in matter, like our earth, and very many of the visible-to-us planets of our solar system, are so gross as yet, so slightly etherealized, that very many of them — I won't say all of the visible planets — have actual lunar dwellers of the threshold. Yet even here we must draw distinctions, but absolutely and perfectly along the lines of the doctrine. Venus I have already stated had a dweller of the threshold, but it disintegrated into cosmic ether or dust at the end of the Venus fourth round; but we are lower than Venus in our own evolution, and our moon won't finally leave us entirely, or in other words be disintegrated into the blue ether of space, until we end our sixth round; perhaps even into the seventh round. The reason is that we are more grossly material than Venus is. Venus is more grossly material than are those spiritual planets which because they are spiritual are invisible to us. Yet they are just as real in the solar system as is our earth.
Now then, taking our own earth, our own globe as an example, it is in a sense the planetary spirit, the monad of the planet, which in its own evolutionary journey is now passing through this low phase of its evolutionary pilgrimage. Therefore to a certain extent it is the monad of our earth whose karma it is. But it is evolving upwards. Yet we, the children of earth, are attracted as monads to those places in cosmic space or in our solar system, in our case to those monads or planetary chains with which we have evolutionary affinities and sympathy. Therefore we contribute out of our own ignorance — like the monad of our own globe is more or less sunken in matter as compared with higher, more highly evolved entities — we contribute our quota, our part, or portion, to the cosmic karmic heritage, and therefore must suffer under the common karmic retribution of the future. Have I made my thought clear?
Every opening in the physical body whatsoever is one of the channels of evacuation of the pranas at death, from the fundament through every opening upwards to the top of the skull — where there is no physical opening, but astrally there is. The higher portions of the sevenfold entity leave the body at death by the higher openings in the body, and the lower parts of the human constitution evacuate the body at death by the lower openings, every one of them, even the navel.
I think we have had enough of this. I am not certain that questions of this kind are wholesome to us students. It is too bad to distract the attention to physical things, and lead our minds away from the grandly beautiful things in which we should become strong first.
You can call the brahmarandhra the road of Brahma, the channel of Brahma, out of which the ray (not the monad, because the monad does not come in and sit inside the body), but its ray inspirits those chakras or organs in the body which are its particular vehicle, especially the heart; and this ray never descends to the lower orifices of the body. It always is upward rising, and at death rises along through the spinal column into the brain, flashes through the Sahasrara or the highest chakra if you wish, and as we rather graphically say, but not properly, passes out through the top of the skull, which merely means that the ray rises like an aura from and through the head.
Be charitable and gentle to those who may stumble on the path. You don't know what karmic impulses may at any moment have brought about a thought or an action. Therefore judge not, because judging in these cases is a sign of weakness in yourself, who can't see the good in the one who has stumbled. Rather understand, and extend the hand of compassion and brotherly love. Look to the future. Your own feet may stumble on the path someday, and oh, how dear to you then will be the helping hand.
You know there is in the world a certain type of mind which seems to feel that the noblest is beyond human compassing. It is the doctrine of spiritual defeatism, and I am not here referring to any mundane facts at the present time, but I am referring to a feeling among hundreds of thousands, and perhaps millions, that it is practically impossible for man to live ever his highest and best, and consequently they seek justification for lapses.
Our experiences from now onwards — and it has been so really in our days in the past — but in our present life, our experiences to which we should set our eyes are in the future on the upward path. We have passed the middle point of the fourth round, the most important moment of choice (excepting one which comes in the fifth round) of the entire chain-manvantara. Now if we as human souls can climb upwards, looking to the future and forgetting the past, we shall pass that moment of choice coming to us in the fifth round, and do it with safety. If we have our eyes turned downwards, or towards the past, and imagine that we can't, when inwardly we know we can and should, we shall not make the grade during the fifth round. Do try to remember that.
One of the marks of the chela is to dare.
There can be no buddha unless the appropriate entity enters nirvana. There are the buddhas of renunciation whom we call the Buddhas of compassion. All the bodhisattvas renounce nirvana, at least that part of nirvana into which they could enter as a condition or state of the spirit. Yet the fact remains that nirvana is dharmakaya, and one cannot enter buddhahood unless dharmakaya be attained.
You will have this paradox explained if you consider the life of the last buddha of history, the Buddha Gautama. Consider the sevenfold principles or character of this very lofty man, grand man indeed. At a certain stage his spiritual soul entered the nirvana. From that moment Gautama was buddha. The past participle passive of this Sanskrit verb budh shows it. The human soul or apparatus left behind was the Bodhisattva Gautama who thereafter continued to teach until the physical death of Gautama's body in the latter's 100th year.
Thus you have in the life story of that wondrous man the explanation of the mystery. There was the chela or neophyte Siddhartha, becoming after his youth a bodhisattva, thus opening the channel for the spiritual soul to manifest through him at buddhahood. The spiritual soul then entered dharmakaya, the bodhisattva continued in the body to live 20 more years (buddhahood having been attained during Gautama's 80th year) and to teach. Then the bodhisattva retired to its own place which happened to be assuming nirmanakaya, or the vesture of nirvana, and then the body died.